Grilled whole fish, lemongrass with citrus and herb salad

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 whole fish gilled and gutted (about 2.8kg), skin on scored
4 long chillies, coarsely chopped
40gm ginger, coarsely chopped
10gm (kaffir) lime leaves, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red onion, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp lemongrass
50ml vegetable oil, plus extra for drizzling

Citrus and herb salad
2 small red chillies, thinly sliced or to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp crushed brown sugar
60ml lime juice (1⁄4 cup)
60ml fish sauce (1⁄4 cup)
1 cup coriander
1 cup mint
1 cup Thai basil
2 red shallots, thinly sliced
1 orange or grapefruit, segmented
1 lime zested

Method:

  1. Process chilli, ginger, lime leaves, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, coriander roots, oil and 2 tsp sea salt in a food processor to a paste. Rub inside the fish cavity and spread thickly over fish, massaging into incisions. Cover and marinate for at 2-3 hrs.
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C or heat a hooded barbecue to high. Place fish on an oven tray lined with oiled foil and drizzle with a little extra oil. Roast until flesh flakes easily (30-35 minutes).
  3. For citrus and herb salad, pound chilli, garlic and palm sugar to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Stir in 1 tbsp hot water, then add lime juice and fish sauce – check seasoning and adjust the balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty to taste. Store in an airtight container until required. Just before serving, combine herbs, shallot and citrus segments in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
  4. To serve, zest lime and juice over whole fish and scatter with salad.

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